Romania’s caretaker defense minister appointed as prime minister

Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea

Romania’s acting defense minister Nicolae Ciuca on Thursday was nominated to try and form a new government.

President Klaus Iohannis named the reserve army general, known for his pro-Western stance, to form a centrist government to end a month-long political stalemate.

„I have decided to nominate Mr Nicolae Ciuca as my candidate for the post of prime minister,” the president announced after meeting with the leaders of the various parliamentary groups.

„The political crisis must end. Now. Now, we all need to end this crisis, which has gone on for so long, given the pandemic crisis, the dramatic situation of hospitals while awaiting the winter,” he added.

“It’s inadmissible to continue in this style,” he added referring to political bickering of recent weeks.

Mr Ciuca was the candidate put forward by the center-right National Liberal Party which was dismissed in confidence vote earlier this month.

He is known as a commander of the Romanian missions in Afghanistan and Iraq with U.S. forces between 2001 and 2004.

Immediately after he was nominated, he said the Liberals would „negotiate with all responsible political forces so we can present a government in a short time.”

A previous attempt to form a centrist government under former Premier Dacian Cioloș failed on Wednesday when too few lawmakers voted for his Cabinet.

Ciuca now has ten days to form a Cabinet that needs to be approved by parliament  before he can be sworn into office.

Former Prime Minister Florin Citu, and Liberal chairman, praised the development as a sign of “maturity and responsibility.”

„We are in a political crisis … not generated by the Liberal Party, but it will be solved by the Liberal Party.”

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